The Question of Freedom of Speech Facing Socialists

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Serge Forward's picture
Serge Forward
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Mar 30 2017 10:25
Rommon wrote:
The REAL speeches that the left should be paying attention too are the Wall Street lectures and economics confrences where neo-liberal and capitalist ideology is pushes ... This is where the rulers of the world actually do their damage.

I agree with this actually but think we should do both.

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Rommon
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Mar 30 2017 10:28

Yes, in that those Words are agreed With, accepted as true, and acted upon.

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Indeed, and they get popularity and greater acceptance when advocates for those views have the power and potential to popularize them further.

What makes it easier to popularize them is when there is no opposition.

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You know that's impossible to prove right? And that mitigate doesn't mean remove? Or is this an admission that some victimization and violence is worth the price of your own ideals being accepted by society. You got a ratio to work off or something?

It's not impossible to prove, compare countries that ban free speach of the radical right, and those that do not, and then see which ones have more problems With the radical right.

Speech in and of itself doesn't vicitmize anyone, violence does. If you want to prevent Speech from leading to violence you take away its Power, by arguing against it.

My ratio is this: what actually Works, what actually helps People. Not what makes me feel morally righteous.

it feels good to shut Down a fascist, but it doesn't help anything, it doesn't achieve anything.

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Strawman, no platforming isn't "shouting people down" that's more a feature of symbolic protests advocated by liberal activism. Effective no platforming means active disruption and shutting down the reactionaries attempts to organize and propagandize.

What does it accomplish?

Does it forward any narrative? any vision? does it actually hurt the fascists? Does it effect their ideology?

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This is simply objectively wrong. You've been given many examples of how speech can be a form of violence up to and including death. Your just ignoring this and restating your beliefs in an attempt to shout down contrary reality.

The examples are how Speech leads to action ... Yes, and that action can be violence.

So you shut Down Speech, have you reduced the threat of violence? Have you done damage to fascist ideologies? You've done damage to no one but the left.

There is NOTHING that the right loves more than pretending to be victims, pretending that their ideas are so right and so Dangerous to the establishment they must be shut Down.

there is nothing they hate more than someone actually chanenging them intellectually and revealing them to be stupid and shallow ...

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Again this is just the recitation of your chosen dogma, this is the world how you wish it to be, not how it is.

Its also incredibly pompous, and actively insulting, as someone who has reason to fear the speech of others you are not a friend or an ally, you've chosen the side of my oppressors. Good job "Leftist"

Is it working? I am not interested in being a friend or ally, or anything like that. I'm interested in actually providing an alternative to Capitalism and helping the lives of the poor and working classes.

radicalgraffiti
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Mar 30 2017 11:16

the idea that fascists are working class is a liberal myth spread by the wealthy and privileged, in reality the right are disproportional wealthy, business owners etc, yes they convince some of the poor working class to take they side, but these ideas are not caused by poverty, and pretending tehy are only helps bigotry.

It should be obvious that reading about some ideas or seeing a video about them is not the same as getting together with a large group of people who share those ideas. Stopping meetings like milos stops lots of friendly racists/ homophones/ misogynists from forming connection in real life and and so vastly reduces there ability to act on those beliefs in real life

people who voted for trump, are mostly just ordinary republicans, they weather than the average American and less working class, there are not worth specially targeting to recruit to our cause when there are still millions who are more susceptible to communist ideas

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Reddebrek
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Mar 30 2017 11:33
Rommon wrote:
The marginalized in society,
http://libcom.org/blog/words-can-cut-deep-speech-violence-28032017

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Yes, in that those Words are agreed With, accepted as true, and acted upon.

Yes that is how propaganda works.

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What makes it easier to popularize them is when there is no opposition.

Err? your the one arguing against opposition pal not me.

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It's not impossible to prove, compare countries that ban free speach of the radical right, and those that do not, and then see which ones have more problems With the radical right.

Oh I see we're back to this strawman again. You know for such believers in the power of debate you aren't very good at it. We're comparing the effectiveness of direct antifascism to liberal debating. Not state censorship. We've been very clear on this point from the beginning so there is no excuse here your doing this deliberately.

Oh and by the by the United States is arguably the most extreme interpretation of freedom of speech in the world, and yet it still elected a right wing radical administration and has a long and bloody history of right wing terrorism.

And in Europe where most nations do have strong laws against extremist speech right wing radicals are still entitled to debate and argue. So your criteria doesn't work.

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Speech in and of itself doesn't vicitmize anyone, violence does. If you want to prevent Speech from leading to violence you take away its Power, by arguing against it.

Okay, so why hasn't it worked yet? We've been doing this since the end of WWII, contrary to your believes reactionary bigots are debated and argued against quite regularly, and yet hate crimes and terrorism continue to persist and are on the up.

You seem to think the world has been run by some kind of antifascist orthodoxy were neo-fash have been stomped underground. And that just isn't the case anywhere in the world.

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My ratio is this: what actually Works, what actually helps People. Not what makes me feel morally righteous.

Yeah, your lying now, we know what your advocating doesn't work because that is the status quo position. We can see the rise in right wing extremism in the US and Europe both bastions of liberal debate. Your not radical or novel your just advocating what's currently happening and ignoring the effects that clash with your optimism.

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it feels good to shut Down a fascist, but it doesn't help anything, it doesn't achieve anything.

Well that's funny I could of sworn the shutting down of the National Front saved Jewish and black and Asian communities from a wave of terror from what was once Britain's fourth largest party.

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What does it accomplish?

Does it forward any narrative? any vision? does it actually hurt the fascists? Does it effect their ideology?

Accomplish? weakens their ability to organize, does it forward any narrative? yes, they aren't as strong as they think they are, and can't act with impunity. Does it effect their ideology? Well again yes after the NF collapsed its successor the BNP ditched street fighting for electoral politics, because they had to try something different because they couldn't win through physical confrontation.

In the US the Fascist Silver Shirts were destroyed completely by the opposition of the Teamsters union.

Can you point to any example of your way answering any of these questions?

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The examples are how Speech leads to action ... Yes, and that action can be violence.

So you shut Down Speech, have you reduced the threat of violence? Have you done damage to fascist ideologies? You've done damage to no one but the left.

Obviously yes, that unionist wouldn't have been targeted had he not been outed on redwatch, the Salvadoran civil society wouldn't have been tortured and murdered had someone not pointed them out to the death squads. The Trans student wouldn't have been harassed had Milo not identified her. My 16 year old friend wouldn't be at risk of violence if someone hadn't drawn attention to him on red watch. So on and so on. This how outing works, exposure encourages violence.

And if "THE LEFT" needs to be damaged* in order to protect these people (most of whom are actual leftists) than I say fuck it and anyone who would put political convenience over human lives.

*Which you've not actually proved in anyway. Saying it over and over again doesn't count.

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There is NOTHING that the right loves more than pretending to be victims, pretending that their ideas are so right and so Dangerous to the establishment they must be shut Down.

Again strawman, ANTIFA is not the establishment, and again so what? This doesn't address the issue at all this just you whining about PR. We're talking about violence if you believe your personal ideology is worth the violent attacks on others then have the backbone to say so and stop dancing around it.

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there is nothing they hate more than someone actually chanenging them intellectually and revealing them to be stupid and shallow ...

Again when is this happened? Right wing zealots get interviews and debates all the time, you should have plenty of examples to choose from if this were true.

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Is it working? I am not interested in being a friend or ally, or anything like that. I'm interested in actually providing an alternative to Capitalism and helping the lives of the poor and working classes.

But you aren't though, your here arguing against poor and working class people taking actions to protect themselves. You know in the UK and France trade unionists and "commies" are common targets of far right violence, violence your not interested in opposing.
If your crackpot liberalism were accepted I and my fellow workers would be under more pressure and violence not less.

So again your not a comrade in any sense of the world, your views are based in liberal idealism and your priorities are with the right wing reactionaries who initiate violence instead of their victims. So much for Christian charity.

radicalgraffiti
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Mar 30 2017 11:29

the idea you can reason milo supporters out of there bigotry is rather naive, they dont care about fact, if you encounter them online and you post eg scientific studies proving them wrong they will down vot your posts and be yelling there only to genders or their stupid attack helicopter memes 5 minutes later. in real life they want to have fun, get there views reinforce, meet people and get material to wind up "sjw cucks"

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Rommon
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Mar 30 2017 12:30

You'll never argue anyone out of anything by arguing With them online, that's never going to work. What DOES work is not arguing With them directly, but having debates With their heros and showing them to be empty.

By the way, why would you argue With them about gender? I would, and have, rather ignored that stuff and talk about Capitalism, class and so on.

I've spoken to a lot of, not milo supporters perse, but the kind of New conservative neo-fascists.

I've had success talking to them one on one, not calling them bigots, not calling them fascists, not arguing about gender or anything like that, but talking about actual issues of class and capitalism.

Debating Milo on Equal terms would show him to be intellectually empty, especially if you argue With him about Capitalism.

I personally think it's a mistake for the left to dig their trenches in gender issues, or even race issues (although racism in America IS growing and becoming quite scary), I think the issue of class and capitalism is the most important issue that needs to be dealt With and is a winning issue.

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Mar 30 2017 13:23
Rommon wrote:
You'll never argue anyone out of anything by arguing With them online, that's never going to work. What DOES work is not arguing With them directly, but having debates With their heros and showing them to be empty.

If this DOES work, than why have you still not presented an example? I can think of plenty of examples when Far Right types have been debated and done extremely poorly but it hasn't had a noticeable effect on their influence.

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I've had success talking to them one on one, not calling them bigots, not calling them fascists, not arguing about gender or anything like that, but talking about actual issues of class and capitalism

"actual issues" hmm either that was poorly worded or we're beginning to see your true colours.

But out of curiosity sake what do you mean by success, did you actually get them to give up on their racism and other bigotries?

Fleur
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Mar 30 2017 14:08

Rommon:

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By the way, why would you argue With them about gender? I would, and have, rather ignored that stuff

Lol. You're a white straight guy, who's never felt marginalized, had their right to existence denied or had been particularly under threat by anyone really, are you?

Real life isn't like a high school debate club. Milo's been made to look intellectually bankrupt time and time again, it hasn't lessened his appeal, he just got more and more famous and more supporters. They didn't care if his arguments were made to look weak. Perhaps you can sit down and organize your one to one discussions/coffee mornings with the fash, maybe you'll turn one or two. Don't bother discussing anything actually concrete about their beliefs. Leave out their sexism, racism, anti-semitism, transphobia. Just concentrate on class and capitalism. Make sure you chuck marginalized people under the bus. Don't be too convincing though because we already have a problem with racists and sexists in the left, don't need any more of them.

Meanwhile, while you're doing that, comrades can actually do something useful.

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Rommon
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Mar 30 2017 14:11
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If this DOES work, than why have you still not presented an example? I can think of plenty of examples when Far Right types have been debated and done extremely poorly but it hasn't had a noticeable effect on their influence.

An example? Do you want specific People I've spoken to?

How often do Leftist actually talk to working class People about the issue they are worried about? It does happen sure, but unfortunately the fascist right do it much more, and they take their issues and insecurities and lead it in a destructive direction.

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"actual issues" hmm either that was poorly worded or we're beginning to see your true colours.

My true colours? What do you think I am?

here's what I mean, I mean actual issues of economic Power and capitalism and class, Things that are putting People out of homes and Food off of tables. I think these issues are more important than the gender issues, Cultural issues and so on that the right loves to use.

I think those issues are Central, it's Capitalism that is the main ideological Power.

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But out of curiosity sake what do you mean by success, did you actually get them to give up on their racism and other bigotries?

Most of them aren't actual bigots ... they are just trained to misdirect their attention from their problems.

Take for example immigration, I remember once talking to a guy about how he thinks muslims moving into this European country are hurting low Income People by competing for wages and how they threaten European values and so on and so forth.

typical right wing talking Points.

I basically talked to him instead about the dismantling of social Democracy in the 1990s, and how unions were being destroyed and how what's really destroying European values is the marketization of everything. I then talked about the bombing of the countries where migrants come from, how much of Central africa has been ravaged by corporaitions and now global warming.

He agreed, then we started talking about working class politics and so on.

I have no idea what he thinks about muslims now, but at least for the time I was talking to him his anger shifted to neo-liberalism and the corporate class.

Anytime you find racism among the working classes, or fascims: you'll almost always find a left that has failed to engage them. Racism has to be pushing into People, it isn't Natural.

I would be willing to bet, if you take working class racists and working class ethnic minorities in whatever country, get them to spend time With one another; have them talk about their economic problems and start to come up With a way to overcome those economic problems, racism would die out pretty damn quick.

Maybe I'm being idealistc, or maybe I haven't read any REAL racists, but that's been my experience.

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Reddebrek
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Mar 30 2017 15:19
Rommon wrote:

An example? Do you want specific People I've spoken to?

How often do Leftist actually talk to working class People about the issue they are worried about? It does happen sure, but unfortunately the fascist right do it much more, and they take their issues and insecurities and lead it in a destructive direction.

Oh, I see, the reason you don't give any evidence for what you say totally works is because you don't have any.

You can read, so you know exactly what I was asking of you.

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My true colours? What do you think I am?

here's what I mean, I mean actual issues of economic Power and capitalism and class, Things that are putting People out of homes and Food off of tables. I think these issues are more important than the gender issues, Cultural issues and so on that the right loves to use.

Ok and your response to the fact that racism and sexism mean these disproportionate put minorities out of homes and food of their tables is to ignore it entirely.

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I think those issues are Central, it's Capitalism that is the main ideological Power.

Well yeah but like apartheid and the relegating women to domestic work for centuries show that the capitalist system is perfectly capable of existing on the backs of other ideologies, so that doesn't seem a very smart to treat them like periphery things.

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Most of them aren't actual bigots ... they are just trained to misdirect their attention from their problems.

Yes that's still bigotry, unless your implying real bigotry is inherited like eye colours. The blokes who firebombed my local Mosque were still bigots even though they were scapegoating a community that had nothing to do with their worsening economic conditions or the Islamist movement they blamed for the supposed national decline.

They still petrol bombed a building because at the time they didn't like the people in it.

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Take for example immigration, I remember once talking to a guy about how he thinks muslims moving into this European country are hurting low Income People by competing for wages and how they threaten European values and so on and so forth.

I see and this fellow was a senior spokesman for a Fascist organization actively encouraging violence and attacks on immigrants was he? And your public humiliation of him in the verbal sparring ring lead to the collapse of the local chapter right?

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I basically talked to him instead about the dismantling of social Democracy in the 1990s, and how unions were being destroyed and how what's really destroying European values is the marketization of everything. I then talked about the bombing of the countries where migrants come from, how much of Central africa has been ravaged by corporaitions and now global warming.

He agreed, then we started talking about working class politics and so on.

I have no idea what he thinks about muslims now, but at least for the time I was talking to him his anger shifted to neo-liberalism and the corporate class.

Hang on so you don't actually know if this worked at all then do you. Even the Strasser brothers

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Anytime you find racism among the working classes, or fascims: you'll almost always find a left that has failed to engage them. Racism has to be pushing into People, it isn't Natural.

Ok are you actually reading whats been written in reply to you? because that's the reason antifascism actually works. No one is saying its natural, your arguing that a tactic with multiple examples of success around the world should be abandoned, because it conflicts with your morals and in response you keep insisting your ways better and the only evidence you've given us is an anecdote in which you admit you don't know whether you actually succeeded in changing a random blokes mind about Muslims.

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I would be willing to bet, if you take working class racists and working class ethnic minorities in whatever country, get them to spend time With one another; have them talk about their economic problems and start to come up With a way to overcome those economic problems, racism would die out pretty damn quick.

Okay, great, but why do you think this requires letting Fascist organizations recruit and organize freely? How will this help your project for peace and love? You know that a rainbow coalition is the last thing they want so why would they sit back and let this happen without a fight?

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Maybe I'm being idealistc, or maybe I haven't read any REAL racists, but that's been my experience.

Wait, hang on if this all based on your personal experience, then why are you writing off my personal experience and the experiences of everyone who disagrees with you? I just told you I have reason to fear the speech of others and you just brushed me off with your pompous "I'm interested in serious work attitude".

Let's forget all the evidence and examples I've given you (hell you've been ignoring it all anyway) why is your personal experience more important than mine or the actual victims of Fascist speech?

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Khawaga
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Mar 30 2017 15:12
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How often do Leftist actually talk to working class People about the issue they are worried about? It does happen sure, but unfortunately the fascist right do it much more, and they take their issues and insecurities and lead it in a destructive direction.

What? You must be from the US and thinking the Dems are the left or something because the fucking left has done the above for a few hundred years already. You seem to confuse the liberal calling out culture on social media as being left.

And sorry to say, if you'd lived in a country where Nazis throw hand granades into rallies or actively target immigrants, you'd drop your simplistic, and very liberal view of politics in a heart beat.

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Mar 30 2017 15:15

Rommon, you’re not thinking these things through. Sexism and racism are not peripheral matters to the class struggle. They are, along with religious bigotry, the way the ruling class divides the working class.

I believe all direct action, including opposing fascism, is a tactical matter, which should be used differently depending on the circumstances. The notion that ‘free speech’ is an unalienable right is nonsense, do you know the problem of getting any radical publications displayed in newsagents, etc. The mass media propagates only capitalism.

When there was a battle in Cable Street in the 1930s, when the National Front invaded Brick Lane, when Orangemen decide to march though Catholic areas, I can see no objection to the residents protesting by blocking their passage. We do not live in an ideal world and the working class must choose the appropriate methods to stop their oppressors (and their agents).

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Rommon
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Mar 30 2017 16:01

Khwaga.

I agree With you, situations for example in Greece are MUCH MUCH different, and different actions are called for there.

Auld-bod

I agree, but generally the way to deal With that tactic of the ruling class is to not get caught up in those issues, oppose them when they threaten People, but always go back to the real Source, i.e. Capitalism.

I don't think, for example, that racism can be seperated from Capitalism, it is a Product OF capitalism.

Reddebrek

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[/Oh, I see, the reason you don't give any evidence for what you say totally works is because you don't have any.

You can read, so you know exactly what I was asking of you.

What would Count as evidence? individual stories? THat's what I am asking.

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Ok and your response to the fact that racism and sexism mean these disproportionate put minorities out of homes and food of their tables is to ignore it entirely.

My response is to address the system that puts People out of homes and removes Food from their tables in the first Place.

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Yes that's still bigotry, unless your implying real bigotry is inherited like eye colours. The blokes who firebombed my local Mosque were still bigots even though they were scapegoating a community that had nothing to do with their worsening economic conditions or the Islamist movement they blamed for the supposed national decline.

They still petrol bombed a building because at the time they didn't like the people in it.

Have you ever talked to People that are attracted to those ideologies?

I'm not talking about fire bombers by the way, or actual neo-nazis.

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No one is saying its natural, your arguing that a tactic with multiple examples of success around the world should be abandoned, because it conflicts with your morals and in response you keep insisting your ways better and the only evidence you've given us is an anecdote in which you admit you don't know whether you actually succeeded in changing a random blokes mind about Muslims.

has it been successfull though? If no-platforming People has actually improved Things and weakened fascist groups I'd love to see evidence.

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Okay, great, but why do you think this requires letting Fascist organizations recruit and organize freely? How will this help your project for peace and love? You know that a rainbow coalition is the last thing they want so why would they sit back and let this happen without a fight?

Yes ... let them organize and recruit freely ... just as anarchists and socialists organize and reqruit freely .... and if their ideas are engaged With, I am quite sure they will fall apart.

Trying to prevent them from organizing will do one thing, it won't actually prevent them, they'll do it anyway, and it will make them seem as though THEY are the ones who are victims and THEY are the ones whose ideas are actually right and so on.

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Wait, hang on if this all based on your personal experience, then why are you writing off my personal experience and the experiences of everyone who disagrees with you? I just told you I have reason to fear the speech of others and you just brushed me off with your pompous "I'm interested in serious work attitude".

Let's forget all the evidence and examples I've given you (hell you've been ignoring it all anyway) why is your personal experience more important than mine or the actual victims of Fascist speech?

I'm not writing off anyones personal experience, if you have examples of winning People over by no platforming or something like that let me know.

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Reddebrek
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Mar 30 2017 17:55
Rommon wrote:
Reddebrek

What would Count as evidence? individual stories? THat's what I am asking.

????????????????????????????????????????? Whatever your thinking of every time you said your way works. I'm giving you a free hand and you still don't provide anything. You keep talking with certainty that your ideas work so you must be basing this off of something. What is it?

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My response is to address the system that puts People out of homes and removes Food from their tables in the first Place.

Ok and your response to the fact that racism and sexism mean these disproportionate put minorities out of homes and food of their tables is to ignore it entirely.

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Have you ever talked to People that are attracted to those ideologies?

Yes, what on earth makes think I haven't when I've told you several examples from my community?

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I'm not talking about fire bombers by the way, or actual neo-nazis.

No, you have, see I have been talking about these people from the start and you have been replying to me on multiple occasions to argue with me over this. So either your not telling the truth now or you really weren't paying attention.

And given that you replied to section with direct references to fascists before neither answer is very good.

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has it been successfull though? If no-platforming People has actually improved Things and weakened fascist groups I'd love to see evidence.

Yeah, I'm airing towards your lying now, see I have brought up evidence in other comments. And I know you've seen them because you replied to those comments. You didn't reply to any of those bits, but you replied to the points before and after them so you couldn't have missed them.

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Yes ... let them organize and recruit freely ... just as anarchists and socialists organize and reqruit freely .... and if their ideas are engaged With, I am quite sure they will fall apart.

Okay, well leaving aside that that has never actually worked, what about the people they will kill and assault in the meantime? You just gonna write them off as a means to an end?

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Trying to prevent them from organizing will do one thing, it won't actually prevent them, they'll do it anyway, and it will make them seem as though THEY are the ones who are victims and THEY are the ones whose ideas are actually right and so on.

Wrong, and already covered in previous comments.

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I'm not writing off anyones personal experience, if you have examples of winning People over by no platforming or something like that let me know.

Err yes you did mate, in your first response to me, you made a direct reply to my experiences and wrote me off with your pompous talk about real work. And I've already given you several examples of what you've asked.

I'm not going to do this again for you, your ignoring what I'm saying and refusing to back up your claims with evidence. If your being sincere and I doubt you are, go back an re-read these comments and provide evidence for the claims you've made, all of them.

Scallywag
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Mar 30 2017 21:44
Rommon wrote:
I agree, but generally the way to deal With that tactic of the ruling class is to not get caught up in those issues, oppose them when they threaten People, but always go back to the real Source, i.e. Capitalism.

Ironically its this which is one of the biggest faults the left makes. Reducing everything down to capitalism is far too narrow a perspective.

Anarchists are not just opposed to capitalism but all forms of domination, exploitation and relationships of power that benefit some to the disempowerment, marginalisation, exploitation or exclusion of others. Aside from capitalism this includes racism, patriocentricity, cisnormativity, heteronormativity, gerontocracy and basically any form of discrimination or phenomenon which normalises one quality such as being heterosexual, cisgender, monogamous and affirming to socially constructed gender roles and expectations to the exclusion of all other qualities so that they are abnormal.

Those forms of discrimination and normalisation adversely affect people who are trans, LGBT, and so on, and in the end decrease the freedom of everybody as it stigmatises and makes taboo issues to do with sex, sexuality, gender and expression all of which should absolutely not be.

Since anarchism is about liberating individuals from all forms of domination, then you should be supporting efforts to liberate individuals from these forms of discrimination and normalisation.

They are not simply created by capitalism, they have existed before the existence of capitalism and could easily exist once capitalism has been abolished.

This is going OT however, so I suggest since anyone here who actually is an anarchist will agree with what I've said here, that the issue not be dealt with any longer and the discussion return to free speech - I am interested to hear thoughts on that as at my uni we have problems with right wing so called 'libertarians' hiding behind free speech to advance misogyny, transphobia and so on, and claiming they are being marginalised and oppressed so I want to know how to effectively rebuke their use of free speech in defending what they are doing.

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Khawaga
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Mar 30 2017 20:15
Rommon wrote:
I agree With you, situations for example in Greece are MUCH MUCH different, and different actions are called for there.

But I am not referring to Greece, but countries like Norway, Sweden and the UK, countries that most people wouldn't think of as having a "bad" nazi problem. Point is, where ever you give nazis free roam of the streets, marginalized peoples will suffer very direct violence. That's the point of no-platforming.

In any case, free speech is ideology.

radicalgraffiti
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Mar 30 2017 21:57

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Mar 31 2017 07:00

When you say "free speach is ideology" ... of course you're right, but everything is ideology, what matters is not whether or not something is ideology but whether or not something is a good principle.

As for the rest of it. I'll put it this way, I have read right wingers, I've listened to libertarians, I've read left wingers, I've talked to Marxists, all kinds of People, I am able to shift through what makes sense and what does not.

In my experience, with People I have spoken too, when you actually listen to them, and engage with them, they are MUCH more willing to actually listen back and consider an alternative worldview.

In my experience, with right Wing working class people I have spoken to, their view of the left is almost entirely a strawman; most of them are not really bigots once you get past the right wing rhetoric. Most of them interpret the "no platforming" and the "protesting" as the left NOT being able to engage with ideas and argue against them so instead they just try and shut Down Speech.

It's an impression that is understandable if their ONLY contact with the left are "shutting Down" right wingers and what right wingers are saying about the left. In my experience if I actually sit Down with them, and take them time to listen to them and engage with them; most are not that far gone.

You're asking for evidence ... I don't have statistics ... but I'm quite sure if you look up in the psychological literature you'll find out that you're more willing to get People to listen to you if you listen to and engage with them, and they are more willing to ignore you if you just shut them Down.

Here's what I would do with a Milo, instead of shut him Down, make a petition or something to basically force him to a debate on Equal terms.

2 Things will happen.

1. His ideas will no longer seem reasonable.
2. People will be more willing to actually listen to what the radical left is saying.

Heres what happens when you shut him Down.

More People check him out, his ideas remain unchallenged, the left looks as though they are afraid to engage ideas ... and the fascists grow, becuase they are the ones who are being listened to.

By the way, Milo is a troll, he's a moron with really nothing to say, if he is every ACTUALLY challenged you see him shink back pretty fast.

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fingers malone
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Mar 31 2017 07:24

I think in this argument you're assuming that people react to working class neighbours, workmates etc who are a bit racist the same way we treat the organised far right, and I don't think that's accurate.

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Reddebrek
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Mar 31 2017 09:13
Rommon wrote:
.
In my experience, with People I have spoken too, when you actually listen to them, and engage with them, they are MUCH more willing to actually listen back and consider an alternative worldview.

Ok but no ones saying you shouldn't do this. You seem be laboring under the impression that no platforming is a standard tactic applied to everyone at the drop of a hat. When in reality is only used by groups who have identified a clear danger.

Its a form of defence and your arguing measures taken to protect ourselves are wrong because they go against your personal beliefs.

Quote:
It's an impression that is understandable if their ONLY contact with the left are "shutting Down" right wingers and what right wingers are saying about the left. In my experience if I actually sit Down with them, and take them time to listen to them and engage with them; most are not that far gone.

Really? So where exactly do you live? Because that doesn't happen anywhere in the world. Like I said right wing reactionaries are debated and interviewed and engaged with all the time, the only exceptions are the ones engaged in illegal actions and even a few of them like Tommy Robinson can wangle a few appearances.

Quote:
You're asking for evidence ... I don't have statistics ... but I'm quite sure if you look up in the psychological literature you'll find out that you're more willing to get People to listen to you if you listen to and engage with them, and they are more willing to ignore you if you just shut them Down.

Err, no mate that isn't how this works, in a debate you are responsible for providing evidence for your own statements. Since you're asking others to do your work for you, I can only assume you haven't done any research and have no examples, even though you kept repeating that your views definitely work.

If you don't have evidence you shouldn't make a claim because it wont stand up to scrutiny. All your doing is repeating your own special talking points.

Quote:
Here's what I would do with a Milo, instead of shut him Down, make a petition or something to basically force him to a debate on Equal terms.

You can't force someone to debate you, and if you could that would be more hostile to freedom of speech then anything anyone else has advocated in this thread.

Quote:
2 Things will happen.

1. His ideas will no longer seem reasonable.
2. People will be more willing to actually listen to what the radical left is saying.

Well until you do that that isn't proof, your just making a prediction of the future, based on your own sense of superiority. Your smug attitude would be funny if you didn't match it with a callousness for victims (which you either ignore or write off at every turn), so its actually quite disgusting.

Quote:
He's ideas have already been dismantled from multiple angles on many occasions on very public mediums

Errr, yeah he has, which is why this makes your argument-to be honest this isn't an argument all you have is a wishlist- look even weaker than before. He's already had his ideas and views challenged multiple times and yet his brand continued to grow over the years

Quote:
Heres what happens when you shut him Down.

More People check him out, his ideas remain unchallenged, the left looks as though they are afraid to engage ideas ... and the fascists grow, becuase they are the ones who are being listened to.

Errr, no. Before the UC Berkley protests he was already a celebrity with a major book deal and multiple appearances on radio, TV and internet. After Berkley he's lost his media career and and is now a pariah.

Now I don't actually believe the Berkley protests did all that (they did stop him outing students though) but the claim that he somehow became a megastar afterwards is just another empty talking point and funnily enough a right wing one at that.

And how do we know this? Again no evidence provided.

Quote:
By the way, Milo is a troll, he's a moron with really nothing to say, if he is every ACTUALLY challenged you see him shink back pretty fast.

Yeah, and it didn't do a thing. Another free tip ALL CAPS doesn't make what you say anymore convincing. On the contrary it does the opposite. Provide evidence or stop making claims.

Sharkfinn
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Apr 1 2017 10:43

The thing is, Milo isn't part of a street based far right paramilitary movement or even connected to them, unlike some of the people on the right that got him fired from Breibart. Censoring him from Berkeley doesn't stop him from offending people online, so I don't see what no platforming him from the ivy league is supposed to achieve. In fact he gets media attention from it, so it's counter productive.

Golden dawn, Russian far right street gangs or the American militia movement are examples of actually dangerous (though not necessarily fascist) movements that antifa should try to counter. That issue is connected to the question of freedom of speech, since we are attempting to censor their freedom of assembly and speech, and needs to be justified. Antifa is supposed to be a working class self defence organisation guaranteeing our freedom of assembly, and maybe in some cases stopping racist from dividing communities. I don't see the anti-Milo protest doing that.

I would say that Milo and the nihilistic internet alt-right are very much the enemy we want. Certainly less scary than paranoid, ex-special forces who think muslims and mexicans are invading America, training paramilitary tactics in the woods. Some of these groups are linked with local cops. There are versions of this phenomena across Eastern Europe as well. That's just some perspective.

The left should be trying to connect with working class communities and build solidarity in places where we are not strong. That is the only way to build political power to actually deal with real problems. I suspect that some antifa sentiment concentrates on tiny fascist cliques or social media assholes because they are seen as small enough that tiny activist groups can beat them.

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Quite frankly there is bugger all we can do with the violence which comes from capital or the state and I don't have a shred of hope any more that there is going to be a time in the future when we can but is not the violence perpetrated by fascist groups and sympathisers not "real violence" too?

The violence from the former is precisely what we are supposed to be preventing, and fascist are dangerous precisely as part of a state or as the capitalist class's extralegal paramilitary force, I don't see why we should worry about random bigots. They are a product of alienation and won't go away throgh call-outs and no-platforming (they are in the whitehouse!), they just adabt their strategy with social media.

Anarcho
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Apr 1 2017 10:54
prinkyn wrote:
Given that libcom posted posted Fleur's anti-Marxist polemic here as an article, I've (not the original author of this thread) replied to it here:

libcom.org posts anti-Marxist polemic

That response states:

Quote:
Our article worked from a perspective in favor of free speech and critical of the anarchist tactics of direct action and individual-terrorism, while theirs took the opposite position.

Wow, way to go getting as much Marxist nonsense in one sentence as possible! So we have "the anarchist tactics of direct action and individual-terrorism" -- hardly "the" and few anarchists have advocated the latter (and a few self-proclaimed Marxists have supported that). As for "direct action," are you against strikes, occupations, boycotts, blockades etc.? Just voting as the tactic for you?

And as for "terrorism", well, most Marxists may be against "individual-terrorism" but many are fine with state-terrorism. Trotsky wrote a whole book on the subject in 1920.

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Reddebrek
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Apr 1 2017 11:49
Sharkfinn wrote:
The thing is, Milo isn't part of a street based far right paramilitary movement or even connected to them, unlike some of the people on the right that got him fired from Breibart. Censoring him from Berkeley doesn't stop him from offending people online, so I don't see what no platforming him from the ivy league is supposed to achieve. In fact he gets media attention from it, so it's counter productive.

As was said everytime someone bring this up, Milo was outing local students during this talks, the disruption of his university tour put a stop to this. If your ok with him and other right wing speakers doing this then say so. Stop pretending this is about people getting their feelies hurt on the web. That's just dishonest.

He was actively endangering people and what happened at Berkleythrew a spanner in his works. If you've got a better way to stop this targeting then let us know.

And yes he got media attention, just like how he got media attention for his talks that weren't disrupted. He was already a well known personality so anything that happened in his periphery was guaranteed to get attention. The battle of Cable Street got loads of attention as do all actions against far right paramilitaries you think are far targets. Why isn't this a problem in those cases when supposedly it is for things you don't think are ok.

Quote:
Golden dawn, Russian far right street gangs or the American militia movement are examples of actually dangerous (though not necessarily fascist) movements that antifa should try to counter. That issue is connected to the question of freedom of speech, since we are attempting to censor their freedom of assembly and speech, and needs to be justified. Antifa is supposed to be a working class self defence organisation guaranteeing our freedom of assembly, and maybe in some cases stopping racist from dividing communities. I don't see the anti-Milo protest doing that.

You know Milo's a racist and really hates transsexuals, and its been shown that his appearances have lead to an increase in harassment of those he targets. So unless your saying ethnic minorities and trans people don't count as "working class" then I suggest you seriously rethink your position because its in conflict with itself.

Also a Wobbly was shot by a right wing milita (not necessarily fascist) type at a protest in Seattle.
http://libcom.org/news/fellow-worker-gdc-member-shot-anti-fascist-protes...

Guess who the shooter was a fan of? The enemy you want.

The man who told police he shot and wounded another man during a violent demonstration over the appearance of Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of Washington sent a social-media message to the Breitbart News editor just an hour before the shooting.
“Hey Milo,” the 29-year-old former UW student posted to Yiannopoulos’ Facebook page at 7:24 p.m. “im outside in line to your UW event.

“I got sucker punched (he was a bit limp wristed) and someone jacked my #MAGA hat,” he said, referring to the ubiquitous red and white “Make America Great Again” caps worn by supporters of President Trump.

“Anyway for me to get a replacement signed by you?” the man asked

Oh and the allegation that he was "sucker punched" was disproved the member he shot had been trying to talk him down.

Quote:
I would say that Milo and the nihilistic internet alt-right are very much the enemy we want. Certainly less scary than paranoid, ex-special forces who think muslims and mexicans are invading America, training paramilitary tactics in the woods. Some of these groups are linked with local cops. There are versions of this phenomena across Eastern Europe as well. That's just some perspective.

Of course their the enemy you want, your not being targeted by them. This isn't some hypothetical discussion on ideal strategy for the future. There is a massive surge in hate crimes in recent years and much of its being carried out or encouraged by folks you've just written off.

Again I have to ask, are you being so flippant out of ignorance or genuine callousness?

Quote:
The left should be trying to connect with working class communities and build solidarity in places where we are not strong. That is the only way to build political power to actually deal with real problems. I suspect that some antifa sentiment concentrates on tiny fascist cliques or social media assholes because they are seen as small enough that tiny activist groups can beat them.

Why exactly do you think this is an either/or scenario? I mean the Arditi Popolo was born out of the factory occupations, the NF were defeated by large coalitions of community groups in association with the AFA, and the Black Shirts were opposed by the labour movement and minority communities.

The Silver Shirts were smashed by the Teamsters Union, and at present the IWW has played a big role in confronting far right groups that threaten minority communities with their support and has been building links as a result.

You wouldn't be writing off something based on your assumptions rather than actual experience now would you?

Also drop the "real problems" drivel. Its a real problem when minorities are attacked and harassed, and I'm sorry people are prioritizing their safety over your preferred political bandwagon, but if your not going to help people in the here and now then why on earth should they help you build Jerusalem tomorrow?

Quote:
The violence from the former is precisely what we are supposed to be preventing, and fascist are dangerous precisely as part of a state or as the capitalist class's extralegal paramilitary force, I don't see why we should worry about random bigots.

Ever been targeted by random bigots? Your comment and tone suggest not, but I know what its like to be prejudged so I wouldn't want to do the same to you.

Sharkfinn
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Apr 1 2017 12:38

Please write coherent responses. I'm not gonna answer 10 unrelated points individually. That kind of text is incredibely heavy, and no one bothers to read it after two pages.

I'm not callous, you don't know me, you don't know what I've done or been through. I'm interested in discussing the antifa and freedom of speech from a practical and philosophical point of view. If you use tactics like criticising my tone, calling me callous, ignorant, whatever, then I have no interest in responding to you.

My point is that there is a difference between fascists as a paramilitary group, which is an existential threat, and internet assholes who are not. And there is a vast difference between the potential violence fascist groups can achieve and what lone racist can do. We don't have, as activist, an efficient way for dealing with individual racist street violence. That's outside our resources as we are not policing the streets. "Stopping Milo" doesn't work, it causes him to trend on twitter and become more powerful. "People are suffering do something" -is a really bad way of affecting the world and we shouldn't fetishize easy victories as actually helping someone.

I'm not counting off lone acts of violence of individual racist, but putting them in perspective. Words don't kill people. They might lead to action that does, but if we use that kind of criteria then there is a tension between freedom of speech and antifa. People aren't saying that openly on this thread, which I find troubling.

DevastateTheAvenues
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Apr 1 2017 13:04

Here you go: freedom of speech is bullshit bourgeois philsophical wankery. And the reason why it's​ such is the belief you stated in your post--that "words don't kill people", As if speech is an isolated act, or as if there was an unbridgeable gulf between reactionary ideas and reactionary violence. Fascists, right-wing militia types, and other violence-prone reactionaries appear with their ideas formed as if from the ether. This, as I've said before, is the height of bourgeois-idealist ideology.

And, frankly, there is a fatal contradiction in your post that others have pointed out before in this kind of talk. On the one hand, Milo Yiannassholish is just some "random internet asshole", therefore apparently impotent and demonstrations against him a waste of time; and yet on the other, you're opposed to demonstrations against that asshole and others like him because you think it gives him media attention and "causes him to trend on twitter and become more powerful." Either speech is impotent and reactionary speech is not something we should worry about, therefore even if demonstrations against him raise his profile it's hardly anything to get ruffled about; or speech has consequences, potentially dangerous ones, in which case it's entirely justifiable to organize against reactionary speech. Pick one.

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fingers malone
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Apr 1 2017 13:14

I don't know if there's such a clear dividing line though between 'fascists as a paramilitary group' and 'internet arseholes' or 'lone racists'. I think there's a big middle ground there. The far right groups in the UK are not paramilitary but they can still be pretty dangerous? And couldn't someone be acting with other people in a semi organised way without being a fully fledged member?

(Cross posted)

Sharkfinn
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Apr 1 2017 13:32
fingers malone wrote:
I don't know if there's such a clear dividing line though between 'fascists as a paramilitary group' and 'internet arseholes' or 'lone racists'. I think there's a big middle ground there. The far right groups in the UK are not paramilitary but they can still be pretty dangerous? And couldn't someone be acting with other people in a semi organised way without being a fully fledged member?

(Cross posted)

I'd say most UK fascist are paramilitary groups - they don't have guns and they are drunk all the time, but they do organise as violent street groups and carry out street patrols and intimitation. I don't think antifa can do anything about lone racist in random places, how would we affect that? this was talked about on this forum before https://libcom.org/forums/news/uk-european-union-referendum-22062016?pag...

We shouldn't fight nonviolent groups or necessarily even political wings of violent groups with violence. State would get a pretext to lock you up pretty quickly. I would say that a lot of this discussion reflects the fact that most of us on this thread live mainly in some type of liberal democracy. You wouldn't really have antifa in countries where there isn't at least somekind of human rights clause guaranteeing freedom of assebly and speech.

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fingers malone
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Apr 1 2017 13:58

Ok fair enough, I suppose I was understanding paramilitary as more of a well armed group.

Sharkfinn wrote:

The left should be trying to connect with working class communities and build solidarity in places where we are not strong. That is the only way to build political power to actually deal with real problems. I suspect that some antifa sentiment concentrates on tiny fascist cliques or social media assholes because they are seen as small enough that tiny activist groups can beat them.

Ok I sort of agree with you and I sort of don't. Obv I agree about connecting with working class communities. I swing all over the place on what I think about organised anti fascism. Maybe I could say that I've seen anti fascism done well and done badly. I know some anti fa people where your suspicion is probably accurate. I know others who put a lot of effort into lots of different things including state violence and also do anti fascism. I have seen some anti fascism that was very rooted in local communities too. Then yeah, I've seen lots of anti fascism that I didn't like much.

The community I live in now, I'm pretty safe walking around on my own, if people recognise me as a local anti racist or lefty that probably makes me safer. I've had mates doing working class organising in other places where they had fascist threats phoned to their home phone, their address in Redwatch, one guy had to move house twice. I guess I'm not very qualified to comment on anti fascism and its role in organising in working class communities as I've had it comparatively easy on that score.

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Reddebrek
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Apr 1 2017 14:07
Sharkfinn wrote:
Please write coherent responses. I'm not gonna answer 10 unrelated points individually. That kind of text is incredibely heavy, and no one bothers to read it after two pages.

If my responses are that incoherent how on earth did you manage to write several paragraphs after this complaining about it? And no I won't, I actually like this format, your free to use whatever style you like and I am as well.

Quote:
I'm not callous, you don't know me, you don't know what I've done or been through. I'm interested in discussing the antifa and freedom of speech from a practical and philosophical point of view. If you use tactics like criticising my tone, calling me callous, ignorant, whatever, then I have no interest in responding to you.

Well then don't. Your free to reply in any manner you see fit and that includes not replying. I'm not going to kowtow to you on this, if I see something I think worthy of criticism on a topic a care deeply about I will probably criticize. If this offends you I'm sorry but I'm not going to change.

Quote:
My point is that there is a difference between fascists as a paramilitary group, which is an existential threat, and internet assholes who are not. And there is a vast difference between the potential violence fascist groups can achieve and what lone racist can do.

Breivik was a lone racist radicalized by the internet, he killed 77 mostly teens/children. That kid who shot up the Church in South Carolina killing nine Dylan Roof acted alone. The websites stormfront and redwatch (which has verisons all over eastern Europe) have been used by dozens of "lone wolf" attacks in several countries.

The two guys who petrol bombed my towns Mosque spent most of time on the web chatting to other angry xenophobes on the web. But to be quite honest I find your distinction quite arbitrary lone actors do add up and the violence they commit is real and whats to stop them from grouping together and coordinating.

I mean that is how political organizing works for everyone else, individuals become groups, groups grow and on it goes.

Quote:
We don't have, as activist, an efficient way for dealing with individual racist street violence. That's outside our resources as we are not policing the streets. "Stopping Milo" doesn't work, it causes him to trend on twitter and become more powerful.

I know, you said you didn't read my comment but this was in the first bit so I'm going to assume your deliberately ignoring this bit to repeated your strawman. Milo isn't more powerful he's become a pariah, and so far has stopped outing students. I realize your not going to openly say you don't care about these students he was targeting because that's indefensible but that's what your saying every time you keep repeating this empty talking point.

Quote:
"People are suffering do something" -is a really bad way of affecting the world and we shouldn't fetishize easy victories as actually helping someone.

Total strawman, this is about what works as a form of defence against a current and active threat. Not your political project, if your angry people are prioritizing their defence rather than follow your line than that's a reflection of your failure to convince others.

Quote:
I'm not counting off lone acts of violence of individual racist, but putting them in perspective. Words don't kill people. They might lead to action that does, but if we use that kind of criteria then there is a tension between freedom of speech and antifa. People aren't saying that openly on this thread, which I find troubling.

Exactly. Speech is not neutral it has a relationship to action so speech should carry consequences just like action does.

The tension here is that some user like yourself are prioritizing your preferences over the safety of others.

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Chilli Sauce
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Apr 1 2017 19:04
Quote:
Stopping meetings like milos stops lots of friendly racists/ homophones/ misogynists from forming connection in real life and and so vastly reduces there ability to act on those beliefs in real life

Here, hear! Down with homophonic oppression! wink